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Valenzuela dominates in quarters

Matt Mooney | Tuesday, March 2, 2004

The ring lit up and the stands were filled as the 74th annual Bengal Bouts resumed for the quarterfinal round Monday night at the Joyce Center.

Boxers from the 140-pound weight class began the night when tested experience met exuberant youth. In the first bout of the evening, off-campus fifth-year senior Jon Valenzuela squared off against St. Edward’s freshman George Hay. Valenzuela set the tone immediately, swinging early and often. He repeatedly backed Hay into the corners with various combinations. Hay managed to land a few defensive blows amidst the onslaught, but struggled to keep himself off the ropes. In the third round, Valenzuela landed a vicious uppercut that sent Hay to an eight-count. The punch all but sealed Valenzuela’s victory and he eventually won the bout by unanimous decision.

Dillon sophomore Tim Jaeger and senior Pedro Alves fought the night’s second bout, and both fighters came out swinging. However, it was Alves who made the decisive connections. A right hook to Jaeger’s head in the first round led to an eight count and in the second round, Alves picked up where he left off. Alves landed another right hook, but this time the blow would be decisive. After the eight count, Jaeger went to his corner, but the trainer could not stop his bloody nose. The referee stopped the contest at 1:06 into the second round and declared Alves the victor.

In a battle of North Quad, Stanford sophomore Michael “Soldier” Schmitt fought against Andrew McGill, a freshman from Zahm. These boxers fought with much more technical skill than the previous two and it was reflected in the closeness of the bout. Schmitt started the first round very aggressively, but McGill fought back, twice backing his opponent against the ropes in the second round. However, Schmitt adjusted and landed enough punches early in the third round to earn a split decision.

After his preliminary round victory, off-campus senior Lawrence Hofman looked to keep his winning ways alive against Alumni junior Michael Feduska. His chances got a big boost when he landed two big right hooks during the first round. Feduska found enough room to sneak in a few combinations but mostly remained on defense. However, Feduska made the bout close when he sent Hofman to a late eight-count in the third round. It would not be enough for the judges who awarded Hofman a victory by split decision.

145 pounds

The title of intra-dorm supremacy was on the line when fellow Zahm residents senior Luke Dillon and freshman James Russell took to the ring. Russell landed a few jabs, even sending Dillon to his corner with a bloody nose. But in the end, Dillon proved too tough for Russell, securing a unanimous victory.

The next bout had the first significant height difference of the night when tall, lanky senior Mark Pfizenmayer took to the canvas against shorter Dillon sophomore Ed Liva. The difference did not initially bother Liva as the two exchanged blows during a close first round. Pfizenmayer, however, began to exploit his height and reach as Liva began to tire. Landing several second-round combinations, Pfizenmayer secured all the separation he would need. He kept Liva at arm’s length for the rest of the third round and the judges awarded Pfizenmayer a unanimous decision.

Two evenly matched fighters clashed when off-campus senior Chip Marks met O’Neill sophomore Todd Strobel. The bout started with each boxer landing heavy punches. Strobel used a jab-hook combination while Marks countered with a sharp series of jabs. In round two, the two adopted different strategies as Marks attacked both the head and body while Strobel used his reach to strike with jabs to the head. Both fighters were visibly exhausted by the third round and Strobel whiffed on an uppercut that may have sealed a victory. But Strobel held on nonetheless and defeated Marks by split decision in the closest bout of the night.

Off-campus senior Joe “The Iron Chef” Schmidlin hoped to cook up a win in his bout against Zahm senior Paul Robinson. Schmidlin went on attack first, but was not able to sustain it. Robinson’s rally carried from the end of the first round into the second but the see-saw battle continued when Schmidlin put together a quick combination to end round two. However, Robinson would have the last word, and his jab-hook combinations were enough to earn him a victory by unanimous decision.

150 pounds

Keough freshman Clayton Lougee could not hit what he could not see against off-campus senior T.J. “Twinkle Toes” D’Agostino. The senior lived up to his nickname as Lougee struggled to connect against the dancing, weaving and blocking D’Agostino. Though D’Agostino’s elusiveness began to wear down in the third round, he had built enough of a cushion to advance in a unanimously decided win.

The experience of senior David Harmon met all it could handle against freshman Jordan Runge. Runge attacked the senior right out of the gate with a combination of body shots and a big right hook. Harmon fought back in the second round and heavy blows were traded up through the third round. In a split decision, the freshman Runge prevailed.

While the previous bout was close, there was no mistake in the bout between senior Jon Pribaz and St. Edward’s freshman Jon Brewis. Brewis was unable to do much as Pribaz chased him around the ring. But neither boxer was especially dominating until Pribaz uncorked a thunderous left hook that immediately toppled Brewis to the mat. The referee stopped the fight, and as a wobbly Brewis composed himself, Pribaz was declared the winner

O’Neill freshman Brian Tyrrell and Dillon junior Galen Loughrey were the next into the ring. Neither boxer sustained an attack but Loughrey managed to connect on enough punches in the final round to secure his place in the semi-finals by a unanimous victory.